Wine Buzz: Midtown gets taste of Ficklin

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 3D

Is Sacramento's central city, the nonpastoral land of sidewalks and street parking, on the verge of hosting its own wine trail? That's in the talking stages, as a new wine tasting room is expected to open by mid- November in midtown.

The central city already boasts such wine destinations as Revolution Wines, Rail Bridge Cellars, 58 Degrees and Holding Co. and a new spot called Downtown & Vine expected to open soon at 12th and K streets.

Now come plans for Ficklin Wilcox, a wine- tasting room and culinary shop at 920 20th St., between I and J streets. This facility will operate as an extension of Ficklin Vineyards, which produces award-winning port-style and fortified wines in Madera in the Central Valley. Along with offering tastes of Ficklin wines, including table wines made especially for this midtown location, Ficklin Wilcox will sell kitchenware and host classes.

But first, the Sacramento Planning Commission needs to sign off on these plans. That's expected to happen at a meeting Thursday.

"Everything's gone smoothly," said Liz Wilcox, president of Ficklin Wilcox. "We're assuming this is going to be a formality and we'll get the permit."

Plenty of ideas are already on tap for Ficklin Wilcox. It is expected to offer a dozen of its wines upon opening and soon expand the lineup. The space will include an area for seminars, cooking demonstrations and food pairing classes. While Ficklin Wilcox will prepare foods for classes and bites at the wine bar, it won't operate as a bistro like 58 Degrees. Gourmet packaged food items will be offered instead.

For Wilcox, opening a tasting room for this Central Valley winery in midtown Sacramento was a no-brainer. She lived during her late teens at 24th and L streets, and remains a frequent visitor. The idea of opening a midtown tasting room was hatched eight years ago.

"I love Sacramento," said Wilcox. "Everything I loved about it still has that same vibe: progressive, diverse, bohemian. We want to add to that wine presence in midtown with our own twist. There's interest in starting a midtown wine trail, and we can't wait to be part of that community. I'm really chomping at the bit."

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